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11/8/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Texas A&M and U.K. Researchers Team up to Advance Research into Sustainable Polycarbonate

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Teysha Technologies’ ‘Plug-and-Play’ technology utilizes bio-sourced feedstock.

At K 2019, SABIC announced the commercial launch of what is said to be the first renewable feedstock polycarbonate—60% of this PC is made from tall oil derived from pulp waste. Somewhat in parallel, last December we reported on U.K. start-up Teysha Technologies regarding their ‘plug-and-play’ bioplastic platform that results in different grades of PC. Here is an update and further clarification on the origins of this technology and where it’s heading.

Texas A& M University has announced that a recent sponsored research agreement between them and Teysha Technologies has brought together top international research scientists and elite process and commercialization experts dedicated to a common cause: developing unique intellectual property aimed at solving the world’s plastics pollution problem.

Texas A&M chemist Karen Wooley and her multidisciplinary research group within the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry have succeeded in synthetically transforming sugars and other renewable bio-sourced feedstocks into sustainable polycarbonates that degrade in water to regenerate their natural building blocks and are customizable to fit a variety of applications. Wooley’s team joined forces with a team of U.K.-based enterprising group of technologically savvy industrialists with the scientific acumen to match which also  has been searching the past few years for versatile bioplastics that could form the basis of a potential commercial foundation. The result was the formation of Teysha Technologies, which licensed Texas A&M University System intellectual property surrounding the bioplastics technology.

In addition to the efforts underway with administrative support from the Texas A&M Division of Research, Wooley and Texas A&M assistant research dcientist Ashlee Jahnke assist with industrial translation and commercial adoption as chief technology officer and head of research and development, respectively. Jahnke describes the team’s technology as a plug-and-play system in which various additives can be used to modify the properties of the eventual polymer produced, allowing for tunable durability and biodegradability, setting it apart from other bioplastics solutions currently under development. The polymers are characterized by a diversity of shapes, sizes and fabrication methods and feature different chemical, physical and mechanical properties best suited to the situation or need and desired outcome.